Gizeh Records Silent Bells Tour - Interviews - Soundblab

Gizeh Records Silent Bells Tour

by Amy Baker Rating: Release Date:

Next month Gizeh Records launches a new series of concerts entitled the Silent Bells tour.

November's installment features three artists from the label roster in the shape of FareWell Poetry, Sleepingdog (featuring Chantal Acda of True Bypass and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid / A Winged Victory for the Sullen) and Conquering Animal Sound.

Soundblab caught up wih the three artists for a quick chat. (See below for further information about the tour).

Farewell Poetry

You combine music with poetry and film-making - how did people with such diverse talents come together?

Frédéric: FareWell Poetry started a little over two years ago when a Parisian programmer of experimental music commissioned me to create a multi-format performance piece. I had already been involved in writing music for performance film and wanted to create something that would involve the poetry and films of Jayne Amara Ross. Eat Gas joined the project really early on, at the beginning it was just the three of us. Then we asked Colin Johnco, Stanislas Grimbert &nStéphane Pigneul to join us, to create a richer sound. Its really quite exciting to be at the helm of this strange vessel and offer an experience that is many things all at once and not so easy to categorize.

For those planning to come and see you on tour - how would you describe a typical Farewell Poetry gig?

Fred, Stan, Jeff, Stef and Colin play music, Jayne tells stories, and some of the stories she illustrates with film.

Your music has been described as 'haunting' and 'eerie' - where do you take your inspiration from?

Jayne: 'As True as Troilus' is about the idea of fidelity, as in fidelity in a romantic relationship but also a fidelity to yourself. The material that inspired the narrative of the poem was profoundly influenced by early Christian mysticism and more specifically the idea of determinism. The big question is: are we able to influence the outcome of our relationships? Or any other important ideas or experiences that we sacrifice ourselves to? In 'As True as Troilus', the narrator comes to the conclusion that the only fidelity that is really viable is fidelity to oneself, the only truth an inner truth. The urgency in wanting to share this truth is also an important theme that runs through all the poetry on the album, just as the hands that you see weaving in the film portray the narrator as Ovid's Philomela, everything is motivated by a desire to enter into some sort of communion with others. In many ways this is a sort of manifesto for what we are trying to do on a more general level, expressing this unabashed desire to be as sincere and uncompromising as possible.

The music and the poetry unite to celebrate a luminous climax, alive with naïve simplicity, a sort of abandonment. We all agreed that we wanted the record to move out of the darker spaces and into the light, with a sort of 'good soldier' promise at the end of 'All in the Full…' that we will always try to do so, pull the sinking horse out of the mud, hoping for the invisible to ignite…!

You have spoken of constantly seeking new boundaries to break - what comes next?

The Silent Bells tour in the UK, and a concert at the Café de la Danse (a big venue in Paris) before Christmas and then hopefully a wider French and European tour in 2012.

And we're already thinking about a follow-up to the record, and the embryo of our second album is now forming in our minds; if all goes well we will go back into the studio in mid-2012.


You have described your sound as 'sullen orchestral pop' - would you describe yourself as sullen kind of guys?

Chantal: I would describe the both of us as a bit crazy. Not really sullen. Crazy is healthy. Who needs sanity?

How did Sleepingdog come about?

It started as a solo project. I used to play in many bands and I really wanted to have something for myself.
Adam was already my best friend for a while and he started mixing the first album. Every album he was more involved and the last one we wrote as a duo.

What should those planning on coming to see you on tour expect from your performance?

Sometimes small, sometimes a big sound. Dreamy, silent, heavy, light. Very much like life!

With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields is your third album, how has your sound developed over the year since the release of your debut album Polar Life?

There is much more collaboration on the last one between me and Adam. We really learned a lot from each other. We come from different worlds but seem to have found a place in the middle where we both are able to fully open up.

Do you have any particular inspirations?

Music exists inside me in a very instinctive way. It's hard to know how I get inspired. I can be moved by something happening in my life, a cloud, a train, animals, breathing. For the last record it was for sure inspired by the different worlds Adam and I move in. In the end they didn't look so different anymore.

Conquering Animal Sound

Where did your interesting name come from?

James: I was reading a magazine that had an article about soundsystem culture in the UK, and there was this amazing picture of a group called Conquering Lion Sound, which I cut out, and we will still have it on our fridge.. Obviously we couldn't name ourselves that exact name, so we changed it sightly, and there we have it.

If you had to sum up Conquering Animal Sound in 5 words - what would they be?

James: Sparkling loops with beautiful vocals.

We hear that you met at uni - how did you come together and decide to collaborate?

James: Yes, we met on a music course at university. We were two of the people who didn't fit in so well to the course, I think. We had similar ideas about music and liked similar things - and we both had loop pedals! So it went from there.

After the tour - what have you got planned?

James: We've been writing a lot of music for our second album, so after the tour we hope to spend a few months writing and recording more at home, and finish off the record in the next few months. We've been playing a lot of new material recently, so expect new songs at the shows!

Catch all three bands on the Silent Bells tour:

15 - GLASGOW | CCA | 7:30pm | tickets
16 - LEEDS | Left Bank Church | 7:30pm | tickets
17 - LONDON | Cafe Oto | 7:30pm | tickets

Also listen to these and more on the Gizeh Records mixtape:

Comments (1)

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I will be there in Leeds, everyone should come along - all three bands are great and really looking forward to seeing them

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